The Boston Brahmin Cabot family descended from John Cabot (1680- ) who emigrated to Salem, Massachusetts in 1700. He and his son Joseph, born in Salem in 1720, became highly successful merchants, operating a fleet of privateers carrying opium, rum, and slaves. Shipping during the 18th century was the lifeblood of most of Boston’s first families, who usually got their start with the help of Colonel Thomas Perkins. Joseph’s sons, Joseph Cabot (1746 - ), George Cabot (1752- ), and Samuel (1758- ), all born in Salem, left Harvard to work their way through shipping, furthering the family fortune and becoming extraordinarily wealthy.
Two of the earliest US Supreme Court cases, Bingham v Cabot (1795) and Bingham v Cabot (1798) involved family shipping disputes. In 1784 Samuel Cabot relocated to Boston.
The family entered politics with John Cabot’s grandson George, who became a US Senator from Massachusetts, and was appointed but declined to be first Secretary of the Navy. His great-grandson, incumbent 1916 US Senate candidate against the Kennedy brothers' maternal grandfather, John F Fitzgerald. George's great-great-great grandson, Henry Cabot Lodge, born in1902 in Nanhunt, was also a US Senator from Massachusetts, incumbent 1952 US Senate candidate from Massachusetts against John F Kennedy, US Ambassador to United Nations and South Vietnam, and 1960 vice-presidential candidate for Richard Nixon against Kennedy and Lyndon B Johnson.
George's other great-great-great grandson, John Davis Lodge , born in 1903 in Washington DC, was the 64th Governor of Connecticut. George's great-great-great-great grandson, George Cabot Lodge (1927- ) was the 1962 US Senate candidate from Massachusetts against Edward Kennedy.
George Cabot (1752–1823) attended Harvard College for two years before dropping out to go to sea. By the age of 21, he was captain of his own ship. A member of the Pro-Administration Party and a Federalist, his political career began in 1775, when he became a member of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress. In 1777 he was a delegate to the state constitutional convention. In 1787 he was a delegate to the state convention that ratified the United States Constitution. He was elected to the Senate and served from 4 March1791 to 9 June 1796.
Samuel Cabot's son Samuel, born in 1784 in Boston, furthered the family fortune by combining the first family staples of working in shipping and marrying money. In 1812 he married Eliza Perkins, daughter of merchant king Colonel Thomas Perkins.
He trained for the family ancestral career of foreign commerce